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Showing posts with label Bench Press. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bench Press. Show all posts

Friday, August 12, 2016

The King of All Exercises!

United-Games-728x90.pngGood morning Athletes and Warriors!
If you have ever trained with me in person or online you know at one point or another I have conveyed to you that the Barbell Squat and all of its cousins (lunges, dead lifts, etc.,) Are the most important exercises in your program. Why? Here's coach Joe and friends to give you the 'low down' (you'll get that pun from reading on in the article) On the Emperor of exercises.

Squats have been called the "king of all exercises" for good reason.

Because they train a mass amount of tissue in a very time efficient manner.

But squats also have a bad rep for damaging your knees.

In this guest article by Coach Rippetoe, you'll learn the truth about squats.

How to Do a Perfect Squat
by Mark Rippetoe

"Squats are bad for the knees" is the biggest myth in weight training. You may have heard that full squats are bad for your back, too.

The correctly performed squat is a hips-dependent exercise. It doesn’t really stress the knees much at all.

And the correct position at the bottom of the squat does in fact load the back. Which is fine, because the squat is a back exercise too.

What's the correct bottom position of a squat? The hips are just below the level of the top of the knees, the shins are not quite vertical, and the feet and the thighs are aligned so that there is no twisting in the knees and ankles.

The back is at an angle that supports the load, and the hips are positioned to do most of the moving of the load.

In this position, the knees are barely involved. Both the knees and the hips have to bend in order to lower and raise the bar, but in the correctly performed squat the majority of the load is on the hips and back.

If this position is unsafe, toilets are in trouble.

When the hips are shoved back into a position that takes the load from the knees, another very important thing happens: The hamstrings are tightened.The hamstrings connect the back of the tibia to the hip, and therefore exert a backward tug on the knee.

This quite effectively counters the forward pull on the knee from the quadriceps.

But this protective effect takes place only if the hamstrings are tightened by sliding the hips back into the full squat position — it doesn’t occur if the knees stop above parallel, at 90 degrees.

If the back stays too vertical, the hips aren’t loaded, the knees are.

The hip joint is a robust stable structure that is capable of handling heavy loads without injury.

The muscles around the hips are the biggest muscles in the body, and they have the greatest potential to get stronger — if we load them correctly by making them work against the leverage generated with proper technique.

To load the hips, we must have a more horizontal back angle.

In the squat, the back functions as a solid segment, a force transmitter between the hips and legs and the barbell on the back.

It is held as a rigid stable segment by all the muscles of the trunk — the spinal erectors, the abdominal muscles, and all the muscle mass that surrounds and supports the spine.

Therefore, the squat is a back exercise too, and as the back muscles do their job of keeping the back rigid as the weight gradually increases over time, the squat gradually strengthens the back just as it gradually strengthens the hips and legs.


If you are feeling up to it, try my "100-Rep Squat Workout" here.

I've included a how-to video and some helpful tips.

Train hard and stay safe,

Coach Joe

P.S. If you do attempt the squat workout, start with no more than 95 pounds!

Joseph Arangio
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lifting weights is as important to physical fitness as aerobic exercise.

 The big 'duh' but just in case you didn't know, cardio by itself only will not cut it. -Nate
Although aerobic exercise burns far more fat calories, weight lifting or resistance training, increases your lean body mass. Muscle tissue is metabolically active. It uses as much as 45 calories per pound per day to sustain itself. The more muscle tissue you have, the higher your resting metabolism. Even when watching television, the local gym rat burns more calories than their couch potato neighbor. So, while aerobic exercise burns fat during and briefly after a workout, the lean muscle tissue that is gained by lifting weights burns calories around the clock. That's especially important if you want to decrease body fat.
Stronger muscles also enable you to perform daily activities more easily. The result is less fatigue at the end of the day. Well conditioned muscles also reduce your risk to injury.
Strength training is a highly individualized procedure. That's why two equally successful strength athletes may have very different training routines. Nevertheless, in order to increase muscle mass or lean tissue, you need to train with weights a minimum of two to three times per week. US Sports Strength and Conditioning offers customized fitness programs that are tailored to your individual fitness goals.
The American College of Sports Medicine now considers resistance training a necessary component of any sound exercise program. So regardless of what your fitness goal may be, get out there and toss some weight around.

" He (Nathan) consistently asked for feedback on how I was feeling and if I had any pain, soreness or problems...Nathan your passion and commitment to your work is truly inspiring." Michelle Trainee for 5 months.======================================

Friday, August 1, 2014

Flat vs. Incline Bench, Which Will Make You Stronger?

10 Rules of Fat Loss
Ahh yes, The age old question on an age old exercise. Let the debate begin once again!

Dan Wirth - Flat vs. Incline Bench, Which Will Make You Stronger?
This article was written in response to the following question: Dan, how do you feel about the Incline Bench compared to the Bench Press when it comes to developing great upper body strength?
Ah, the infamous Incline Bench Press. The great and almighty 45 degree sports specific force producer! Seriously, the Incline Bench is a great exercise, but, not one that should use a full periodization schedule. Meaning, it is not my "major stimulator" or Primary Strength Exercise (PSE) for the upper body.
PSE's are complex movements that utilize more than one muscle group. They are the exercises that will use a full periodization schedule working from higher volume and lower intensity phases into maximal strength and power phases. This would be in contrast to a Secondary Strength Exercise (SSE) like the Incline Bench, or an Assistive Strength Exercise (ASE) like a Dumbbell Curl that would not use a full periodization schedule and would not work into maximal strength and power phases!
By major stimulator, I am simply talking about exercises that you can inherently lift the most weight with therefore creating the highest neuromuscular or contraction activity in the muscle groups being used (notice the plural use of the word: groups, the Bench is not just a chest exercise, but more on that later!)
The Bench Press is inherently set up so that you should be able to push more weight than you could with an Incline bench (barring any injuries or biomechanical problems). If you took one thousand athletes or fitness buffs and tested them on the Bench Press and the Incline Bench Press, about 97% of them, not all but most, would be able to Bench Press more than they could Incline Bench. This is especially true for the 35-45 degree Incline Bench Press which is pretty close to the optimal angle of release for a shot putter and a close representation of the pushing angle after the initial contact phase of a football lineman.
It is for this reason, and this reason only, that the Bench Press is my upper body Primary Strength Exercise. The angle of the Incline Bench is what makes it a great exercise but it is also what keeps it away from PSE status. PSE's for me are the Power Clean, Squat, and "Flat" Bench in athletic based programs. And, I substitute the Deadlift exercise for the Power Clean in programs for people who want to develop great strength.
We could use the Power Clean and the Squat as further examples of Primary Strength Exercises. In most strength and conditioning programs, in sports where strength and power output are vitally important, the Squat exercise is the major stimulator as opposed to the Front Squat, or the Barbell Step Up. The same thing applies with the Power Clean versus the Power Snatch for example. This is not taking anything away from the Incline Bench, Power Snatch, and Front Squat exercises. Many times I emphasize these lifts in my strength and power programs, but, when I am focusing on absolute strength and power increases during certain training cycles it is the Power Clean, Squat and Bench that I use.
When I mentioned neuromuscular activity levels earlier, many research buffs would like to bring to my attention an occasionally found research example of the Decline Bench exercise having a higher neuromuscular activity than the Bench Press (found through EMG testing). I would say yes, this is true in some cases. However, the Decline Bench has some problems with it's limited range of motion. But, that's another story.
Now, this brings me to a very important point: The Bench Press is not just a chest oriented exercise. It is a Chest, Shoulder, and Triceps exercise. And, this is precisely the reason why most people can lift a heavier poundage with this exercise! The strength of those three muscle groups combined is ultimately stronger than a lift like the Decline Bench which is primarily only a chest developer or the Incline Bench which activates the shoulders even more than the chest.
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